Referee Champions League final in disgrace after speech at far-right rally
A week before he is due to whistle the Champions League final, Szymon Marciniak has been compromised. The Polish referee made a speech at a far-right rally earlier this week.
UEFA has launched an investigation and is likely to come out with its position later this Friday. “UEFA is aware of the allegations regarding Szymon Marciniak and demands urgent clarification. UEFA and the entire soccer community abhor the ‘values’ promoted by this group and take this matter very seriously,” the European association already reported in a statement to Polish and British media.
By “this group,” UEFA is referring to the political party the far-right Konfederacja. The leader of that party, Slawomir Mentzen, is the organizer of the Everest meeting where Marciniak was one of the speakers on Monday.
Mentzen is known as a controversial politician. In 2019, he listed as five main points of his political party, “We are against Jews, gays, abortion, taxation and the European Union.”
Marciniak at the Everest meeting.
Marciniak, who whistled the World Cup final between Argentina and France six months ago, is described by Mentzen on his Facebook page as “a brilliant speaker.” The Everest meeting was organized to promote the Konfederacja party ahead of Poland’s parliamentary elections.
‘Never Again,’ the largest anti-racism organization in Poland, called on Marciniak to publicly distance himself from the ideas of Konfederacja.
“We are shocked by Marciniak’s actions at a far-right, toxic political party. This is incompatible with the basic values of equality and respect. We ask the referee to admit his mistake. If he fails to do so, UEFA and FIFA will have to take consequences,” writes Never Again.
Next Saturday’s Champions League final is between Manchester City and Internazionale and will be played in Istanbul.